The Woman Movement in America
Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1911.
Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1911. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding stamped in black to spine and front board. A just nearly Fine copy on account of some wear to the cloth near the foot of spine. Internally an exceptionally bright, fresh copy. Contemporary gift inscription to the front endpaper reads: "With love for Annie Blitz from Frances J. P. Xmas - 1911." A beautiful example and the only first edition on the market of this scarce history the women's movement, written by Ida B. Well's collaborator and fellow co-founder of the Alpha Suffrage Club.
Two years after the publication of this book, Belle Squire would join forces with the legendary journalist and activist Ida B. Wells to found the Alpha Suffrage Club in response to the racism of majority-white national women's rights groups dominating the movement. Squire, herself a white woman, would throughout her career use her privilege to amplify the voices of Black activists; the two would, indeed, walk side-by-side in the 1913 National Suffrage Demonstration in Washington, DC as part of the Illinois delegation, defying the organizers' demand that all Black activists march at the rear of the parade. "It only required that our women should be as firm in standing up for their principles as the Southern women are for their prejudices," a contemporary reporter remarked (McCullough). The present work reflects Squire's deep awareness of systemic misogyny and racism in the U.S. as well as her commitment to an intersectional activism that incorporates all Americans in the pursuit of equality. And The Woman Movement in America never shies from the complex entanglements and fractures that Black men, Black women, and women more generally experienced in their missions of overturning white male hegemony. Assessing the failures of the 14th Amendment, for example, and the rampant poll taxes and intimidation that continued preventing Black men's votes, she exclaims, "If freedom without the ballot was a mockery to the black man, what good was freedom without the ballot to black woman? Of what use is ballotless freedom to a woman born a blonde? What should be said of men who would reason thus?...What an opportunity to have missed! They could have made it Humanity's Hour." A history from Wollstonecraft to her present moment, including the work of prominent queer women and BIPOC people, and acknowledging that only when all people are enfranchised can there truly be liberty. Near Fine (Item #3996)